Gophers to Host Top-5 Battle
Nov. 14, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS – The No. 1 Minnesota women’s hockey team (12-0-0, 10-0-0 WCHA) returns to Ridder Arena to host No. 4 North Dakota (8-1-1, 6-1-1-1) this weekend. Puck drop is set for 2:07 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Live video and audio will be available at GopherSports.com.
Saturday is Student Day at Gopher women’s hockey. All students receive free admission, and the first 150 students receive a Gopher women’s hockey hat. Fans should be aware that campus will be busy on Saturday as men’s hockey and volleyball both host home games at 7 p.m.
Prior to Saturday's game, Gopher student-athletes will be collecting canned or non-perishable food donations as part of the University of Minnesota athletics department's annual food drive. All proceeds go towards Second Harvest Heartland and Prospect Park Food Shelf.
Minnesota is pleased to host High School Day on Sunday. Groups from nearly 30 high schools will be in attendance for game two of the series with North Dakota.
ABOUT THE SERIES: GOPHERS VS. UND
The Gophers are 39-5-0 all-time against North Dakota, dating back to the first meeting, a 6-2 Minnesota win, on Nov. 29, 2003. The last meeting was a 3-2 win in last season’s NCAA regional, when Kelly Terry scored the game-winning goal in triple overtime to send the Gophers to the Frozen Four (March 16, 2013).
Minnesota has won the last nine games between the two teams. The Gophers began their current 61-game winning streak with a 5-2 win over UND at Ridder Arena on Feb. 18, 2012. Minnesota’s last loss was a 2-1 overtime game against North Dakota on Feb. 17, 2012.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT: NORTH DAKOTA
No. 4 North Dakota (8-1-1, 6-1-1-1 WCHA, 20 points) was idle last weekend. In its last outing, UND picked up its second-straight road sweep, downing Bemidji State by scores of 6-2 and 5-1 on Nov. 1-2. North Dakota’s lone loss this season came to Ohio State, and UND tied Minnesota Duluth.
North Dakota is enjoying its best start through 10 games in program history at 8-1-1 (.850). Nineteen of 20 skaters that have seen action this year have recorded points, including 17 skaters with at least one goal, led by junior forward Josefine Jakobsen’s 14 points (6g-8a).
North Dakota’s defense has created 11 goals and 20 assists. The UND defense leads the nation in goals (11) and is second in shots on goal with 131, (13.10 per game). Freshman Gracen Hirschy is tied for second among the nation’s defensemen with a +13 plus/minus rating. Fellow freshman Halli Krzyzaniak is tied for fourth with a +12 rating.
UND’s freshmen have accounted for 35 points (10g, 25a) this season, and the class leads the nation in freshman point scoring (35), assists (25), shots on goal (146) and power-play points (11). Susanna Tapani leads UND rookies with 11 points (3g-8a).
HOCKEY CITY CLASSIC TICKETS NOW ON SALE
Individual tickets for the 2014 Hockey City Classic on Friday, Jan. 17 are now on sale to the general public. Tickets for the outdoor college hockey doubleheader at TCF Bank Stadium start at $15 and are valid for both games. Fans may purchase tickets at www.mygophersports.com or by calling 612-624-8080. Requests for group tickets of 20 or more are currently being accepted at www.hockeycityclassic.com/tickets.
The Hockey City Classic will kick off with the Gopher women's hockey team taking on Minnesota State at 4:30 p.m. CT followed by the Gopher men's hockey program hosting Ohio State at 8 p.m. The outdoor college hockey doubleheader will be part of a Winter Festival, which will include youth, high school and adult hockey events, private ice rentals, a public skate and much more.
WEEKEND REWIND: GOPHERS SWEEP HUSKIES
Minnesota topped St. Cloud State, 4-1 and 4-3, on the road last weekend. Five Gophers recorded multiple points against the Huskies, led by five points from Sarah Davis (3g-2a). Milica McMillen had three points (1g-2a), and Bethany Brausen, Baylee Gillanders and Rachel Ramsey each had two assists.
Friday saw the Gophers defeat the Huskies 4-1, led by Davis’ two-point effort. Davis, Kelsey Cline, Rachael Bona and Kelly Terry scored the goals as Minnesota outshot SCSU, 45-20. Cline’s tally was the game-winner, along with her first collegiate goal. Amanda Leveille made 19 saves in the win.
On Saturday, Minnesota scored two goals in the final 2:02 in a come-from-behind 4-3 win over the Huskies. McMillen scored the game-winner with 1:09 remaining after Dani Cameranesi redirected a shot by Gillanders to tie the game with 2:02 on the clock. Davis scored the first two Gopher goals in the second period to tie it at 2-2 entering the third, but SCSU took a 3-2 lead in the first minute of the third before the Gophers rallied. Leveille made 17 saves in her 12th win of the season.
CENTURY MARK SCORING
Sophomore Hannah Brandt is one point shy of the century mark in career points (37g-62a=99).
WINNING STREAK MOVES TO 61 GAMES
The Gophers’ 12-0-0 start to the 2013-14 campaign has pushed their NCAA-record winning streak to 61 games. Minnesota entered the season riding a 49-game winning streak and last lost on Feb. 17, 2012.
FROST APPROACHES WIN NO. 200
Head coach Brad Frost is closing in on 200 career wins as Minnesota’s head coach. Frost entered the 2013-14 season with a career mark of 186-36-16 in six seasons at the helm of the Gopher women’s hockey program. Last Saturday’s win over St. Cloud State moved Frost’s career record to 198-36-16 for a .824 winning percentage.
ROOKIE SCORING LEADERS
Gopher freshmen have combined for 21 points (8g-13a) in their first 12 games led by Dani Cameranesi (5g-3a) and Kelsey Cline (1g-5a). Minnesota’s freshman class is eighth in the nation with 1.75 points per game.
GOPHERS LAND AMONG WCHA, NATIONAL STATISTICAL LEADERS
Amanda Leveille is second in the WCHA with a 1.33 goals against average (seventh in the nation) and a .944 save percentage (sixth in the nation). She is tied for second in the nation with four shutouts.
The Gophers have the nation’s third-best offense, averaging 4.33 goals per game. Minnesota has allowed 1.33 goals per game in 12 games, good for sixth in the NCAA. Hannah Brandt is tied for the WCHA lead with 17 points, and Kelly Terry is tied for the WCHA lead with eight goals. Brandt is tied for the national lead with 13 assists.
Minnesota’s power-play is the WCHA’s best, converting on 14 of 43 attempts (32.6 percent). Milica McMillen, Sarah Davis and Dani Cameranesi are tied for second in the WCHA and fifth in the nation with three power-play goals each this season.
Minnesota has the highest scoring defensive corps in the nation with 35 points in 12 games (10g-25a), led by Rachel Ramsey, who is tied for second among WCHA defensemen with 13 total points. Ramsey also is tied for sixth in the nation among defensemen with 1.08 points per game.
MINNESOTA IS UNANIMOUS NO. 1
The Golden Gophers are the unanimous number one selection in both the USCHO.com and the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national polls for the fifth-straight week. The top six teams in the polls are identical this week: No. 1 Minnesota, No. 2 Wisconsin, No. 3 Cornell, No. 4 North Dakota, No. 5 Boston College and No. 6 Harvard. Quinnipiac (N. 7/9), Boston University (No. 8/8), Clarkson (No.9/7) and Mercyhurst (No. 10/10) complete the polls (USCHO/USA Today rankings.)
Minnesota has been No. 1 in the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national polls since the final poll of the 2011-12 season (March 19-20, 2012). This stretch includes 31-straight USCHO.com polls and 34-straight USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls.
ON THE HORIZON
Up next, the Gophers take on a pair of non-conference opponents in ECAC foes Yale and Princeton. Minnesota travels to New Haven, Conn., to take on the Bulldogs, Nov. 23-24 before hosting the Tigers at Ridder Arena Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.